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Things to Do on a Weekend in La Union

It was the weekend I fell in love with the beach.

I guess it’s just a matter of finding the correct mermaid/scientist guide, the perfect company, or a strong enough motive. Having a non-itinerary itinerary surely helped. It got me back to the basics of the sun, sand, and sea and all that the beach offers. It was my first time in La Union, and the first time I truly loved spending time surrounded by water, and this was how it happened. Continue Reading

Writing Now

Summer Crush: A Reflection Paper

Submitted by: Tria, J.E.

Section: #romanceclass 2015

Submission date: April 9, 2017


We found each other somehow.

That’s how I explain this. Six has a more organized and grounded version of this story in her Author’s Note for Summer CrushThe three of us–Six, Tara, and myself–had this whole thread where we tried to figure out and recall how this collaboration began before she wrote it. I remembered some of the things they said, volunteered some of my own memories. But I think it all came down to that. To how we are three girls who wrote about bands and found each other and tried to do something about that.

And HAHA we did do all the things. We plotted, we threw ideas around like they were free and free flowing. Brain farts and feels floods were welcome. We had many spreadsheets (we love them). We had thoughts and secrets, shared during the bright hours past midnight. We had a trip to La Union for an ocular, of course because we were planning a music festival. I asked for that trip. They ignored me when I first brought it up. So I brought it up again and again until YAY hostel booked! Date marked! Bus seats claimed! WE’RE HERE THERE’S THE BEACH IT’S SO HOT THE SAND IS EVERYWHERE I AM DROWNING IN FEELINGS! We went back home to write (almost forgot this part haha maybe. Kind of. Semi. Ish.) We sought the help of someone who we trusted to rein in our shenanigans while also be accepting of our crazy (we love you, Ines), and someone who could put our neon dreams to book cover life (we love you, Miles). And now after all the fun and agony and laughter and drunken confessions and cat feeding and all the food, TA-DAH! Summer Crush is live.

I’m still amazed that we made it. I guess it helped that we are first and foremost fans of each other’s bands and of each other as people (yes, Six and Tara. I fan you). We knew this interactive world would be a challenge to build, to move around in. We knew we’d low-key disagree on some things and low-key put our foot down on others. But it all worked out. I shit you not, we made it work. Camaraderie was the name of the game. We’re still friends. More so now than ever.

If, right this moment, you own a copy of Summer Crush, we thank you from the bottom of our sun-kissed, sand-covered, sea-drowned hearts. I hope you find joy and sun in our stories to balance out the achy bits. I hope reading it makes you wanna go to the beach, or to a music festival, or to a music festival at the beach. I hope it makes you want to dance like you mean it, like no one’s watching and who effing cares anyway if that’s how you wanna rock and roll. I hope you enjoy a few extra thousand words of our book people who you’ve graciously accepted into your bookish hearts before.

If you are new to our book people, however, a big warm sunshiny welcome to you! Thank you for coming. I hope that you like what you found.

Writing Now

All Our Love, Promdi Heart


I don’t come from a sexy province.

That was my biggest challenge coming into this anthology of love stories set in our hometown Philippine provinces. So okay, I took that and joined it with one of the least sexy holidays to complete my setting, added one Trainman, and out came One Certain Day. By the time I typed The End, it turned out I like this origin story 😀


Alice and Son are teenagers from Hagonoy, Bulacan, neighbors and classmates in the way you can’t help to be when you are born and raised in a tiny town. One All Saint’s Day finds them on adjacent cemetery lots, stuck for the day with nothing to do but watch the candles burn down and listen in on the chatter of your aunts and your cousins you don’t really know. So they start talking. And Alice starts falling, just a little bit.

Promdi Heart features more awesome probinsya-set stories by Ines Bautista-Yao, Chris Mariano, C.P. Santi, Agay Llanera and Georgette S. Gonzales. Take a tour of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with us? Thank you! 🙂

Take a quick tour of the Philippines with six hometown love stories.

Visit Jimenez, Misamis Occidental where a priest might just set you up with a man whose dimples are to die for.

Visit Silay, Negros Occidental and get on a horse alongside hunky, hazel-eyed Negrense royalty.

Visit Kalibo, Aklan and find yourself in the arms of a cute drummer boy who just happens to be your kuya’s BFF.

Visit Hagonoy, Bulacan and spend All Saint’s Day next to a distracting boy who promises to write you a song.

Visit Vigan, Ilocos Norte and meet the hot man you used to bully when he was a shy, scrawny boy.

Visit Pundaquit, Zambales and find love in a bronzed fisherman whose eyes hold depths you’ll want to explore.


Writing Now

Miki and Ana’s Twenty Questions

In Songs to Get Over You, Ana suggests that she and Miki get to know each other better by playing Twenty Questions. Now I don’t know the actual questions you’d find if you get this game, but as Ana said, the rules are pretty simple: 1. You answer all the questions, and 2. The questions don’t have to end at 20.

So here I’m sharing with you Miki and Ana’s version of the game. I’ve put down my own answers (feel free to ignore them, haha), and I thought it would be fun if you answer them too. Tag me?

Okay, GO!

Continue Reading

Book Review

Review and Excerpts: Settle the Score / Hustle Play by Tara Frejas

Settle the Score

College senior Garnet Figueroa lives and breathes basketball. A reliable asset to her varsity team, she is equipped with the skills and smarts to get the De La Sierra Lady Hunters closer to this year’s championship title. But Garnet soon finds out that her good friend (and long-time crush), cheerdancer Charles Crisostomo, is being cheated on by his girl, and she lets her emotions get the best of her.

Will she be able to come up with a game plan to save herself from heartbreak before the buzzer signals Game Over?

Hustle Play

Running on pure adrenaline and working with game strategies is something a basketball player like Garnet Figueroa is trained for. On the court, she is unbeatable. Off the court… that’s a completely different story.

Because falling in love is trickier than a ball game, and Garnet finds herself fumbling over her feelings for Charles Crisostomo. The fact that her attention gets divided between him and rival school hard-court hottie Chris Barcelo doesn’t help.

Or does it?



You can never go wrong with a Tara Frejas book. I love Garnet and Charles, and I love how Frejas explores the changes in their dynamics from Settle the Score to Hustle Play. Plus it’s a male cheerleader and a female basketball player! Set in the Philippines! If you live here too, you’d have an idea how intensely invested Filipinos are to both sports, especially on the collegiate level, and the switch from the usual gender assignments brings a new layer to this sports-oriented, friends-to-lovers romance. I really wish Frejas will write more stories from this universe 🙂

Read an Excerpt from Settle the Score Continue Reading

Writing Now

#FeelsFest Recap. The Day Was Aptly Named

You’d think after #AprilFeelsDay, #FeelsRushIn and MIBF I’d be immune to the waves of emotions brought about by each #romanceclass Feels Day. You would think. But like every fresh listen to a song or  instance of a kiss, each time is different from the last. There is always something new, a new feeling to discover.

ATM. #feelsfest #romanceclass #supportfilipinoauthors

A post shared by Miel Salva (@mielsalva) on


Last Saturday, October 22 was #FeelsFest, and for this there were new activities, new gimmicks, some tweaks in the experiment. There were old friends to hug and new faces to meet and enjoy the day with. There were also games and amazing prizes, and more stickers, shirts and other merchandise too. We even had a photo booth of sorts thanks to the funky visual aids and a very photogenic brick wall.

ATM. #feelsfest #romanceclass #supportfilipinoauthors

A post shared by Miel Salva (@mielsalva) on


There were also new books. A lot of new books. 20 or so titles lovingly created and launched by the authors (raises hand) in five-minute intervals.

Feelings for sale. #FeelsFest #romanceclass

A post shared by Kat Sales (@saberkite) on


But before that there were the live readings. We have this every time. These performances always comprise the highlight of each event. But as with everything else, the readings were not only unique per book, but were also distinctive of the actor performing (they’ve been assigned their own tropes, by the way. Don’t tell them). Even the same actor who’s done this for us many times could still surprise us and throw us into a fit of squeals and high jumps. I’m looking at you, G. Thank you/love you.

Moments during the live readings. ❤️ #romanceclass #FeelsFest

A post shared by Fay Sebastian (@mileventwelve) on


If you weren’t there, here’s a big hug. Because if you like books, romance, and feelings, cute actors and authors who are always always happy to see you, you really did miss a lot. Make sure to drop by next time, yes?

If you were there, here’s a big hug too. Big big hug. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my overflowing heart. Thank you for picking up our books, for reading them and talking about them. For loving our book people the way we do, and sharing your love to others. I came into this community with a weird J-dorama book and not much of a clue what I signed up for. I still am not sure what I signed up for sometimes, because #romanceclass people are crazy HAHA. But it’s the kind of crazy that keeps me on the edge, exhilarated as I anticipate the next thing, and the next. Because I know there will be feelings, and more awesome new things. There will be surprises, and escalation. And when we squeal and jump again it will be louder and higher than the last.

It is my pride and privilege to call this bunch of authors family. #romanceclass

A post shared by Tara Frejas (@tarafrejas) on


#FeelsFest happened on October 22, 2016. 12-6pm, Glorietta 5 Atrium. Live readings featured actors Gio Gahol, Rachel Coates, Gab Pangilinan and Herv Alvarez, and books by Stella Torres, C.P. Santi, Ines Bautista-Yao, Ana Tejano, Dawn Lanuza and Mina V. Esguerra.

#romanceclass is a community of romance authors and readers, founded by author/publisher/Queen of Feels Mina V. Esguerra. To check out the growing list of our books, go to Check out our podcast here too, and then the videos below for a more visual explanation.